The post-war history of Japan : renouncing war and adopting international humanitarian law
Asia-Pacific perspectives on international humanitarian law
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2020
In the wake of World War II, Japan renounced war as a sovereign right of the nation and rejected the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes. These ideals were written into the Japanese Constitution of 1947. Against this background, this chapter explores three aspects of Japanese engagement with international humanitarian law (IHL). First, Japanese Courts have decided several post-war compensation cases. In light of international law and Japanese law, this chapter analyses the significance and limitations of Japanese case law on post-war compensation claims, including the Shimoda and prisoner of war (POW) forced labour cases. Second, this chapter introduces the unique post-war history of Japanese self-defence forces and contingency legislation that has been adopted by Japan since it developed a system of self-defence forces instead of armed forces. Third, this chapter explains and analyses the Japanese contribution to international peacekeeping operations and international criminal justice through the Japanese legal system. It concludes with future perspectives on Japan and IHL.
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